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Popovich says at shootaround no lineup changes… probably

Jun 16, 2013, 4:49 PM EDT

Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs - Game Four Getty Images

SAN ANTONIO — In Game 4, the Heat went small starting Mike Miller instead of Udonis Haslem, and it took Gregg Popovich all of 47 seconds to adjust, pulling Tiago Splitter for Gary Neal. Then in the second half Boris Diaw started, a guy who because of his size and style of play lets the Spurs kind of play big and small at the same time.

So who starts for Game 5?

The usual suspects… but that could change Popovich said at shootaround, reports Matt Moore at

The usual five would mean Tony Parker Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, and Splitter.

It would be a Popovich move to essentially look at that small lineup of the Heat and try to pound the smaller Heat. But don’t be shocked is we see Diaw or Neal early. Very early.

  1. casualcommenter - Jun 16, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Going with Tony Parker-Danny Green-Gary Neal-Kawhi Leonard-Tim Duncan allows the Spurs to matchup well against the Heat.

    Parker on Chalmers, Green on Wade, Neal on Miller, Leonard on LeBron, and Duncan on Bosh.

    The problem though is twofold.
    1. The Spurs main advantage over the Heat was size/rebounding. That advantage disappears when they go small, and last game, the Heat actually out-rebounded the Spurs by 5.

    2. Without Gary Neal, the Spurs’ bench would be in trouble scoring-wise. Ginobili has been having a bad playoffs (not just Finals), and without Neal, the bench just doesn’t have any scoring punch. The Heat’s bench hasn’t been great, but Allen has averaged 11 points per game on 62.5% shooting this series, compared to Ginobili’s 7.5 points per game on 34.5% shooting from the field (18.8% from 3).

    A series played “small” favors the Heat since they have better wing depth than front-court depth.

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